Canada Work Permit: Canada Work Visa Requirements

Canada Work Permit: Canada Work Visa Requirements

Do you wish to seek employment in Canada as a student or graduate?  Is your company seeking to relocate skilled workers to Canada but are unaware of the application process and work visa details. Well, look no further, you have come to the right place. This article contains all the information you need to know for a Canadian work visa requirement and eligibility criteria. 

Traveling overseas without a work visa or work permit is like setting yourself up for eminent failure because most foreign nationals are expected to have a work permit visa to work in Canada or any other country. For foreigners to take up jobs, launch businesses and work overseas, every nation requires a work visa and the same applies to Canada. 


Table of content

  • What is a Canadian Work Permit? 

  • The Benefits of a Canadian Work Permit

  • Types of Canadian Work Permit

  • Eligibility Criteria

  • Required necessary documents 

  • How to apply as a foreigner?

  • How to apply while in Canada?

  • What to expect after the application process? 


What is a Canadian Work Permit?

A Canadian Work Permit is a unique, government issued document given to specific non-canadian individuals. Possessing a work permit allows you to work in Canada until the expiration date specified on the document. It also allows foreign students, temporary foreign workers, entrepreneurs and others to work in Canada. 


Benefits of Canadian Work Permit


Non-canadian skilled workers enjoy certain benefits whilst staying in Canada on a work permit visa. 

  • Opportunity to settle in Canada permanently

  • Live in a safe environment with family

  • High standard of living

  • Get a spousal open work permit

  • Competitive wages, equal labour laws for everyone

  • Plenty of employment and business opportunities


Types of Canadian Work Permit

The two types of Canadian work permit are addressed below; 

  • LMIA - Based Work Permit (closed)

  • LMIA - Exempt Work Permit (open)

What is LMIA? 

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is for Canadian employers who wish to hire foreign workers. Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) added this to ensure that foreign workers coming to Canada would positively contribute to its economy. 


LMIA - Based Work Permit

This is issued to foreign individuals after their employer has completed a Labour Market Impact Assessment. This evaluation demonstrates a need to bring the foreigner to Canada and that a Canadian could not fill the role, otherwise known as a positive or neutral LMIA.

Most Canadian work permits are employer specific, otherwise referred to as “Closed” work permits, and are granted for a specific job in Canada. 

Consequently, a foreign worker may only work for the employer specified on the work permit, for the specified amount of time and location. As such, if the foreign worker finds a different employment and does not yet have permanent resident status, the foreign worker must apply for and receive a new work permit prior to changing employers or their position in Canada.

LMIA - Exempt Work Permit 

In limited cases whereby an LMIA isn't required, an exempt work permit is usually issued. That means individuals will require a valid job offer in order to apply for this permit. They include; 

  • International Agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

  • Canadian Interest; 

    • As a result of significant, economic, social or cultural benefits to Canadians

    • To allow for charitable or religious work

    • To allow the accompanying spouses/common-law partners of certain work or study permit and holders residing in Canada to work in Canada

  • In recognition that certain persons in Canada for reasons other than the above-mentioned, such as the making of a refugee claim, need to support themselves or  dependents in Canada on employer-specific work permits who are experiencing abuse, or who are at risk of abuse 

  • Certain permanent residence applicants in Canada

Meanwhile, Open Work Permit Canada allows you to work for any employer of choice in any location, as long as; 

  • They are not deemed ineligible due to non-compliance with certain conditions. 

  • The business does not regularly offer any sexual service such as stripteases, erotic dances or massages, escort services…etc



Eligibility Criteria


For Canada work permit eligibility, one must be able to satisfy one or more conditions stated below; 

  • Must have a solid job offer from a Canadian employer

  • You should be a law-abiding resident of your home country

  • You should have no criminal background

  • You should possess mental and physical fitness

  • You must have the required documents and academic credentials with you

  • You must show proof of sufficient financial means for yourself and your family to live in Canada

  • You will only be entitled to enter Canada if you are prepared to return on expiration of your work visa

  • Complete your studies in Canada

  • Apply for an open work permit as a Spouse or common-law partner of a permanent resident, temporary foreign worker or international student

  • Obtain a Temporary Residence Visa (TRV) valid for six months or more

  • Apply while waiting for your permanent residence application decision

  • Apply as a Refugee Claimant that is protected by the immigration and refugee board of Canada.

  • Not being dangerous to Canadian security

  • Not planning to work for an employer ineligible to hire foreign workers


Required Necessary Documents 


There are different types of Canadian work visas, each needing certain documents. Here is the list of all the documents required for Canada Work Visa 2023.

  • An updated resume

  • Accurately filled in application form

  • Passport copy

  • Latest passport-size photographs

  • Proof of residency in Canada (if required)

  • Family proof of status (if required)

  • Employees impact analysis (if required)

  • Qualification certificates

  • Educational records that must be certified

  • Marriage licence (if needed)

  • Offer letter from your company (If necessary)

  • Quebec Acceptance Certificate (if required)

  • Proof of financial stability

  • Proof of payment of necessary Government fees

  • Completed medical examination result

Other requirements are medical examination, biometrics and police clearance. 


Medical Exam for Canadian Work Permit

Depending on intended stay length, residence, and occupation, foreign nationals may require a medical exam. For stays under 6 months, it’s generally not needed unless the job involves close contact with people or is agriculture-related. Longer stays may necessitate an exam based on residency or job criteria. 


Biometrics for Canadian Work Permit

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has a temporary exemption for work permit applicants within Canada, while those outside must provide biometrics upon receiving an instruction letter. It is best to follow the government’s instructions for biometrics on their formal page.


Police Clearances for Canadian Work Permit

Visa officers may request police clearance certificates, depending on your application location. Work permit applicants may need clearances from countries lived in for 6+ months after age 18.


How to Apply as a Foreigner?

As a foreigner, you would need to apply online. You'll have to apply to either the office of the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) or the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), who are responsible for the operations of the temporary foreign work permit program. Then, upload all scanned documents, fill in your personal details, passport details and more, and pay your application fee. 


How to Apply While in Canada?

If you're already in Canada for one legible reason or the other, such as a student visa, work permit, spouse or parents who are residing or studying in Canada, temporary visa for 6months duration or more; your application will be processed by ensuring all the necessary documents, including biometrics are provided and meet the standard requirements. 

If incomplete or found to be substandard, the application will not be processed. You may also be required to do a medical exam.


Application Fee

The application fee for a work visa cost as follows; 

  • Work Permit Application Fee - 155CAD.

  • Open Work Permit: 155CAD + 100CAD (additional fee).

  • Biometrics fee - 85CAD

  • A work visa renewal will cost more

  • You can use a credit or debit card to make payments. 


What to Expect After the Application Process?

Depending on the complexity of the application form and the type of work visa, the processing time might range from one to twenty weeks or several months, some take longer than expected. The headquarters where you submitted your application will also play a role. 

The Canadian temporary work permit will be issued at the point of entry by a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer at the time the foreign worker arrives in Canada. 

You have reached the end of this article and we hope the details aforementioned have helped to equip you on the Canada work visa requirements. We wish you a successful application and approval!